Tuesday, May 29, 2012

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Forty years since we first entered the TARDIS ...
Forty years since we met a strange old man who whisked us off into space and time ...
Forty years since terrifying creatures drove us behind the sofa ...
Forty years since the birth of a legend ...

For four decades Doctor Who has enthralled millions of children and adults throughout the world. Whether you watched in the monochrome days of the 1960s, or during the colourful 1970s and 1980s, or discovered the all-new adventures of the Doctor on CD and in print during the 1990s and 2000s, we have all been captivated by the Doctor's travels through time and space.

So begins the introduction to the 40th Anniversary Special edition Doctor Who magazine #6.  This came out in 2003 by Panini Comics publishers, although it's in a slick magazine-sized edition.  I ran across it in one of my Comic Con attendances.  I think I was looking for old copies of Starlog at the time, and when I saw this Doctor Who magazine, it naturally got my attention.  Since it's dated 2003, it's before the current relaunch of Dr. Who, which started with the Christopher Eccleston/Billie Piper era, but after the Paul McGann made for TV Dr. Who movie, which appeared in 1996.

It's a pretty interesting magazine as they had conducted a poll to their readers for their favorite Dr. Who episodes, audio CDs, and books.  They got back 2,800 replies (or there about, as that seems like a tidy round number).  At any rate, I thought I might post the findings here for anyone interested.

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These are the results for the best episodes of the Dr. Who original series.  I have to admit, I was surprised by some of the results too.

1. Caves of Androzani
2. Talons of Weng-Chiang
3. Genesis of the Daleks
4. Pyramids of Mars
5. City of Death
6. The Curse of Fenric
7. Remembrance of the Daleks
8. Robots of Death
9. Inferno
10. Tomb of the Cybermen
11. Seeds of Death
12. Deadly Assassin
13. Revelation of the Daleks
14. The Daemons
15. War Games
16. The Five Doctors
17. The Aztecs
18. Ghost Light
19. Web of Fear
20. Earthshock
21. Horror at Fang Rock
22. The Green Death
23. Terror of the Zygons
24. The Sea Devils
25. The Doctor Who TV movie (1996 w/ Paul McGann)

There you have it.  Don't shoot the messenger, I have my own favorites episodes as well, and a few of them are listed here at least.  The amazing thing about Doctor Who is that everyone seems to like different doctors, episodes, and different things about the longest running SF series.  I've seen previous polling of people's favorite episodes and they seem to change throughout the years.  I'm sure if a new poll is conducted ten or so years from now, it would be different again.   At any rate, with the new relaunch it seems that Doctor Who gains new fans of the show, so hopefully it will be around longer with new episodes to watch.









Sunday, May 27, 2012

A three day weekend has arrived with the coming of Memorial Day, which I know pleases a lot of Americans.  Overall I think Americans are a hard working bunch, a little bit too overworked, when compared to our European friends.  I won't go into any politics on those issues, moreover, I just hope everyone is enjoying a bit more time off with friends and family.

For the most part last week, I was thumbing through a lot of personal paperwork, trying to compartmentalize everything and put it into some sort of order.  That's the boring part of the week.  It's not that hard of a chore to do, just a bit mind numbingly dull.  The upside to the past week is I picked up The Complete Sixth Series set of the Doctor Who DVDs.  It has the new doctor, Matt Smith, on it along with Amy and Rory and other cast.

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I've only gotten around to watching the first couple of episodes.  The first disc starts out with A Christmas Carol, which I thought was pretty weak.  I sort of got the idea that this episode might have been a second part or part of a previous story arc from last season.  I haven't been able to keep up with Dr. Who, as the PBS channel doesn't show them anymore.  Whenever they were, I'd catch whatever I could, which wasn't much.  So I'm spotty on the new series.  At any rate, A Christmas Carol, as the title implies is a recreation of the Charles Dicken's story.  For a seasonal Christmas story, I thought it was a weak way to start of the DVD set, but in all fairness, I was doing some other chores and didn't give it full attention either.  That said I found the next story arc about alien invasion better.  Those two episodes were The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon.  The two-parter was a mad mashup of alien invasion by a group of aliens known as The Silence, and the Tardis landing in the White House while President Richard Nixon was president.  It's a rather crazy fast paced couple of episodes, but enjoyable nonetheless.

On Saturdays here on the Me TV Network they still have been showing their SF Saturdays, unless preempted by a sports game.  I've been catching the Star Trek: TOS as it's now entered into Season 2, and I haven't seen some of them, plus I don't own Season 2 on DVD yet either.  So far I've watched Amok Time, where Spock undergoes the Vulcan mating ceremony, The Changeling, where the Enterprise encounters and is held captive by a space probe known as Nomad, The Doomsday Machine, where the Enterprise encounters a giant machine that destroys planets, and last night's episode, The Apple, was about a society of people who are being controlled by a computer or machine.  The Apple was a little cheesy, but since I'd not seen that episode, I enjoyed watching it.

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After Star Trek I watch the George Harrison documentary, Living in the Material World, which I'd rented from Netflix.  It's a two DVD set, but I just watched the first DVD as it was getting late.  It's directed by Martin Scorsese, and he's done another great job at directing this rock documentaries.  Being a Beatles fan I really enjoyed it.  It has a lot of early archive footage of them playing in various locations, has early photos of them just starting out with the band, there are also a lot of  interviews and comments by Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Ringo, Yoko Ono, and some early interviews with George Harrison as well, among many others.   Of course it also includes a lot of Beatles music too, so I thought it was fab.


















Monday, May 21, 2012

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I was reading a robot story the other day by Eando Binder (Otto).  He and his brother, Earl,  used to write SF stories together for Amazing Stories and other pulps during the 1930's.  They used the nom-de-plume Eando ("E and O") Binder.  Though Earl dropped out of the partnership early on, Otto continued to use the pen name when he wrote the Adam Link stories.  Adam Link was one of the first widely-known stories of a sentient robot, asking the question, "Can a robot have feelings?"

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The story I was reading was called Adam Link's Vengeance, which I think is the second one in a series of several.  Adam Link is how we generally think of a mechanical man, but with human traits and thinking. It's also written in the first person, so his humanity comes across.  I think Metropolis by Fritz Lang early on popularized the imagery and ideas of robots.  Although before that in 1921 there was a play by Karel Capek called R.U.R. in which his robot had artificial flesh.  Also other SF writers like Phillip K. Dick have gone on to explore organic artificial men as androids like in his book, Do Androids Dream of Artificial Sheep, which became the movie Blade Runner.   And there is also Data from Star Trek, Next Generation, which was an artificial human, but without emotions.

Adam Link's Vengeance opens oddly enough with Adam trying to commit suicide due to his loneliness.  As Adam relates, "Think of yourself as the only human on Mars, among other aliens with strange minds and strange bodies and customs.  You would know true loneliness."  He retreats to his hideout in the Ozarks to kill himself, but at the last minute a scientist, Dr. Paul Hillory, finds him and saves him.  He feels sympathetic towards Adam, and  ask him if he would like it if he helped him to create a companion, a female robot.  Which is what they set about to do.  It's an interesting story.

Adam Link is highly anthropomorphic; and soon after Isaac Asimov's established his robot stories, I, Robot, which established his three laws of robotics.  The Adam Link sequence is an important predecessor, significantly treating its robot hero (and his wife, Eve Link) with human-like attributes.  Otto Binder wrote many other SF stories, and also wrote scripts for comic books like Captain Marvel and Superman.  Otto also had a third brother, an illustrator, who did some of the early drawing on Captain Marvel.  At any rate, reading the Adam Link story got me thinking about some of the robot stories I've enjoy in SF films as well.  More on that later.





Saturday, May 19, 2012

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To finish up with a part 2 of the Dallas trip, I continued to visit with my brother.  That Sunday we got up, and I read through some of the magazines that he'd gotten at Bill's Records the previous night before as he jumped on the internet and looked around.  He also works from home so he can keep tabs on that if he feels the need to.  He asked me if I'd help him go to Home Depot and get a piece of plywood as he has a small project he like to do, which is putting up a cover over the skylight in the den area.  He wanted the plywood so he could use it as a table top for two sawhorses he bought earlier, and since he doesn't have a truck, using mine came in handy--plus two men can handle the large piece of plywood better.  I didn't mind, so we did that and sort of looked around in Home Depot chatting about whether or not there might be a better alternative with the lumber.  We took that back to his place and then we were both hungry so went to Luby's for a meal.  It was a good choice.  I had a nice hot chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes.

We went back to his place, and I'd brought my bike with me as he has a nice riding path he enjoys riding on to get a bit of exercise.  In Tyler where I live there are designated areas to ride bikes, but none I feel safe on yet.  To tell you the truth, I think the drivers here are pretty bad for a small town, but they pretty much suck all over (famous quote for the day).  They tail gait, which is the idiot's folly, and they blow their horn at anything that displeases them, which again, lighten up people.  It's a shame as I really enjoyed bike riding in West Texas.  It was all flat, and I'd get out to ride several times a week in nice weather.  At any rate, the bike ride was fun.  You do have to watch for traffic while riding through the neighborhood to get there, but once you get to the trail which he enjoys riding on, you can pretty much kick back and enjoy it.  Oddly I saw some speed signs along the pathway posted for (I think it was) 10 miles per hour.  I asked him later what that was about, and he said they posted those because some biker not long ago was hauling ass like he was in Tour de France, and ran into a jogger, killing her.  I guess there's a few idiot cyclist out there too. Sigh. We got back to his place and watched the new Sherlock on PBS.  It was a update of the Hounds of the Baskervilles.  It was quite enjoyable.

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On Monday my brother had to work, so I struck out on my own.  There's a Half Price Books on Independence over where he lives.  It's smaller, but more intimate.  There are many outlets in Dallas of the branch stores, I usually try to hit up more than one.  While there I saw a guy in a wheel chair going through the vinyl, and asked him if he collected 45s, which is what he was looking at.  We chatted for a while, and he told me he had 20,000 lps.  I would have liked to have seen that!  I found the Genesis Songbook DVD, which contains archive footage and interviews of the British progressive rock band.  I also found a hardback copy of Joe R. Landsdale's Vanilla Ride.  It's another story of two detectives, Leonard Pine and Hap Collins.  Leonard is a black gay veteran, Hap is a straight white male.  Together they solve cases, and are hired to rescue an old friends daughter from an abusive, no-good drug dealer.  It just so happens that the drug dealer is on the bottom rung of the Dixie Mafia.  Landsdale writes rip snorting tales, but also fills them with a great deal of good ole boy style humor. 

I also found a graphic novel, The Dreamer by Will Eisner, which is his tale of how comics got their start, and how he started his own shop, and hired other famous artist to draw and write--like Bob Kane and Jack Kirby.  I also found a collect book of Prince Valiant, Far from Camelot by Mark Schultz and Gary Gianni.  They are the current scribes to take on the legend of Prince Valiant, who was once written and drawn by Hal Foster.









Friday, May 18, 2012

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Last Friday I took a short trip to Dallas to visit my brother.  We had planned seeing a singer-songwriter, Darrell Scott, who was promoting his new album, Long Ride Home, and was playing at Poor David's Pub on Saturday night.  My brother had gotten us tickets, so everything was already set.  Friday I got up and packed an overnight bag, and a few other things, and hit the road.  It was a pleasant drive to Dallas, although they'd predicted rain around a 30% chance, so I figured it could go either way.  I didn't think I would mind as long as it was just rain, not hail or tornadoes, which they'd had earlier in the year there.

I'd pretty much made it to Dallas without as much as a drop of rain, but as soon as I got off Interstate 20, and onto 635 LBJ, the loop that goes up to Plano, the skies opened up and down came the monsoon. Bob Dylan has a song on his Blood on the Tracks album called Buckets of Rain, and that's exactly what it felt like, or like driving in a car wash.  Driving in metro traffic is scary anyway, as I have lived mostly in small to mid-sized Texas towns, but when you cut down visibility by 75%, due to a deluge, I start to freak out.  I geared the truck down way slow, and just followed traffic as best I could, but I swear I thought I was going to have to take an exit and wait the storm out.  However, my mind kept flashing on the storms that came through that part of Texas not long ago.  They had some tornadoes move through parts of that area early in the year, and the news reports showed how these twisters would pick up these mobile homes and 18-wheeler trailers and toss them way up into the air, so I didn't want that to happen to me, and I didn't want to drive into any hail either, so kept truckin'.   I finally drove out of the worse part of it, which was a sigh of relief to me.

I was getting into Plano in the evening so my brother had pretty much finished up his work day, so I just unpacked and we visited for a bit.  He made a pretty simple, yet delicious meal of pinto beans and rice, with some farmer's market peaches.  Then we just chatted a while and watched a bit of TV. 

The next day was still pretty overcast, so we just hung around his house until a few hours or so before the concert.  We drove down to the main Half Price Books store in Dallas, and looked around in it for a little bit, and then headed on down to Poor David's Pub, as my brother wasn't real sure how to get there, and also to get a good park.  I always get turned around in downtown Dallas so I was not much help at all. 

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We found the pub and a park easy enough, and walked over to Bill's Records, which was right next door.  Bill's is an actual brick and mortar record/CD/music store.  Those are hard to come by these days.  We had a bit of time before the concert, so we poked around in there.  They had old vinyl and CDs, but the vinyl wasn't in any order, nor was it individually priced, which I found a bit odd. When I inquired as to the price, the owner, Bill, just said, yeah, just grab some stuff and I'll price it up here and we'll see how it goes.  I didn't particularly care for that type of pricing policy, but I was just looking anyway.  My brother found a couple of interesting music magazines on Texas music.  I seemed to remember Buddy magazine having read one or two of them many years back.  I was surprised they were still putting out a publication.  They have a website at:  buddymagazine.com   Also there was a newer, slicker publication on Texas singer-songwriter artist.  The issue he found was on Austin, Texas musician, Jerry Jeff Walker, who had some pretty big selling albums back in the 70's.  One of them being, Viva Terlingua, which had the song on it, Up Against The Wall Red Neck Mother. It is classic album of gonzo Texas rock that's filled with other songs like Desperados, Sangria Wine, and much more.  This is the album that was recorded in the tiny hamlet of Luckenback, Texas.  You might also know Jerry Jeff Walker by his hit single that has been recorded by many other musicians called Mr. Bojangles, which was a hit by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

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The magazine that had the Jerry Jeff Walker article in it is called Lone Star Magazine, and they have a web site too at:  www.lonestarmusic.com      I wished I'd picked up this magazine as well, as when I got back to my brother's house, the next day at breakfast, I read through it, and  it was pretty fact filled on Jeff Jeff's life. It had an interesting discography on his albums,  and what he's doing now.  He'd just celebrated a birthday and is now 70 years old.

After that we went and got seats in Poor David's.  It's a small, intimate venue.  There was a warm-up act, Carolyn Aiken, who opened for Darrell Scott.  I'd never heard of her, but she sang and played really well, and I could tell she's been an accomplished musician for a while now.  Finally Darrell came on around 9pm or so, and although I'm not real familiar with his music, he put on a great show.  I was surprised how accomplished he was on the guitar--his fingers were all over that fret board.  He'd extend some of his songs from his albums  into long soloing excursions, which really were durn amazing.  A really good musician to see live if you ever get the chance.  It was a fun night out.  Once the concert was over it was pretty late, and the neon, Dallas skyline was just an added bonus.  We drove back to Plano, and stopped off  for burgers for a midnight treat.  It was a fun evening for sure. 


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

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So Tuesday I woke up a bit late after the storms blew through East Texas.  The power would come back on in my house late in the nighttime hours, and when it did that it caused my answering machine on my phone to *beep* along with my fire alarm, and if I hadn't thought to unplug my TV it would pop on too.  Plus the lights, which I'd left on when the power failure all began the previous night before, came on too.  For the most part I think I pretty much ignored everything as I was sleeping pretty well until around 5am, when the light next too my bed fooled my brain into thinking it was morning or something.  So I get up to shut off all the lights, and since I was already up, might as well take a whiz too, then I get back in bed hoping to catch a few more winks, when now all of a sudden I feel hungry.  I lay in bed for a bit, but couldn't fall back to sleep, so I go ahead and get up and made a banana smoothie, with strawberries, blueberries, and even some mango and yogurt.  I turned on the tube to see if the weather had pretty much wound its way down, and channel surfed for a bit.  At around 6:30am or so, I hopped back in bed, and slept until 10am or so.

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When I finally did get up, I reset all the clocks, made some breakfast, washed some clothes, and did a few various other mundane domestic chores.  The day before I had planned on seeing The Avengers movie.  I'm sort of a comic book geek.  I don't buy as many as I used to because they're so costly, but still keep up with the medium as much as I can.  I'll visit web sites and read up on what's the hottest books, and if a movie adaption does fairly well at the box office I'll try to see it at the cinema, or at least rent it from Netflix. So anyway this new Avenger movie seems like it's pretty hot at the box office, and before I wander into any forums and have some blockhead spoil the plot, I figure I better go check it out. 

It was great fun too.  I thought it was a 100% adrenaline rush.  One of my friends likened the movie's storyline to the old Silver Age of comics and how stories used to be told back when he was growing up.  I think that's a pretty good description, but I think there was a enough new updating to keep newer readers and fans happy as well.  Overall it was just an exciting action film.  If you enjoy super heroes or action and adventure films, you definitely want to see it at the cinema.  I just went to the 2D showing, as I'm not too huge a fan of 3D.  I already wear glasses, and although I can fit the 3D specs over my normal eye wear, I still prefer 2D most of the time.

After the movie was over, it was sprinkling rain outside as I left the cinema.  I thought I'd swing by Taco Bell on the way home, and grabbed a couple of tacos.  I was happy to get home as the rain started coming down again harder, and I don't see well at night.  I  got settled around the house, and watched the opening monologue to David Letterman as I ate my tacos.  After that I started channel hopping a little bit and saw one station was showing the movie, The Grudge 2.   I remember watching the first Grudge some time back, and enjoyed it enough, so I was happy to catch the sequel, or at least catch what I could of it until I fell asleep in my chair.  It was a fun, full day. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

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Death
Fear
Aging
Greed
Marriage
Family
Society
Forgiveness
A meaningful life

Wouldn't you like more insight on these topics?  I think they are human feelings and thoughts we universally feel, fear, and deal with no matter the race, culture, economic status, etc.

A storm blew through my area of the world last night. I knew it was around this vicinity, and a probability of storms were likely, having heard the weather report earlier, but it sounded like it could be hit or miss.  So I just continued with whatever it was I was doing.  I made a pizza for supper, and started watching Antique Roadshow, which is my habit on Monday nights.  I have a collector's mentality, so that show plays into that part of my brain.  If the show ever come around anywhere near where I live, I want to try and secure tickets and I'll take along something around here to be appraised.  At any rate, there wasn't much on after that which appealed to me, so I decided to watch a Werner Herzog documentary, Into The Abyss. 

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It's a compelling film, which examines the emotional aftermath of a triple murder in or around Conroe, Texas, which is close to where I live.  It happened in a posh, gated community, one that you would think is fairly well protected by the gates, but also security cameras or at least a nightwatchman.  The film started out interviewing the detectives that initially covered the scene of the crime when it happened, the motive behind the crime was some young teenagers who wanted to steal this lady's red Chevrolet Camaro.  A senseless crime and murder, but aren't most of them?  It then introduces you to one of the criminals that's in jail awaiting execution.  He's a young 28 year old--he was 18 when the crime was committed.  You are also introduced to the victims' families, other law enforcement officials, the chaplain that works for the prison system, and other people.  I started getting more absorbed into the film, when evidently a lightning strike killed the power to my house.  So that's that.  I'll continue with the film later, but from what I saw it was turning into an interesting watch.

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Since it was a bit early for my bedtime, I decided to wind down by reading.  I have a small battery powered nightlight for reading, that I got one Christmas from my sister, along with a book.  The nightlight has come in handy. I'm currently reading two books.  One is Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's, Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, which has been pretty interesting.  I've been wanting to read that book for a while now.  The other one, which I chose to read last night is, Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom.  I chose it because although I wasn't quite drowsy it's written in a more contemporary style, and a bit easier to read late at night.  It's about an older man, Morrie, who used to be the younger man's (Mitch Albom), professor at Brandeis University up in Waltham, Massachusetts.  They had gotten to know each other as friends, when Morrie taught there and Mitch was his student.  Morrie was Mr. Albom's favorite professor.  He finally graduated from there, and became a sports writer, and eventually secures a job in Boston.  They loose contact with each other as we do dealing with life, until one day Mr. Albom is watching Nightline with Ted Koppel, and he is doing a story about Morrie, who in 1994 had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease.  It's a fatal disease, and eventually these two old friends meet back up and get reacquainted.  The book ranges on many topics about life.  Some of the topics I stated at the beginning of this posting:  Death, Fear, et.al.  But rather than being a depressing book, it's more about the joy of loving life while you can.  I'm about halfway through it, and it's a good read. 

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Sad news today.  I got up and fixed coffee and turned on NPR radio and heard that Maurice Sendak had died at the age of 83.  He had written many children novels, perhaps the most famous being, Where The Wild Things Are, which I have not read or seen the movie from which it's adapted.  I'll have to bump it up in my Netflix queue.  I should get up and make some tea, and knock out a few other chores today as I plan on going to see the movie, The Avengers.  I've heard it's a fun film.





Monday, May 07, 2012

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While still on the topic of Dr. Who for a bit.  I ran across a neat link to a web site to share while over at the Amazon forums, which allows you to stream some of the older classic episodes.  The video quality is not the greatest, but if you just want to watch some of them, it's more than fine for that, but you also have to put up with commercial messages and so forth.  Still if you are on a budget, like most of us are these days, it's an economical way of perusing episodes beforehand, and perhaps you'll want to pick up a favorite episode on DVD later.

Another route, however, would be to get a Netflix membership or you can go over to Amazon and pay to stream better quality videos from them, or as I said,  you could always buy a few from your favorite vendor.  If you haven't checked the newer remastered DVDs, well they're the bomb.  I have bought a couple of them, and the clarity of them is quite spectacular, plus a lot of them have extras features.  Like The Five Doctors Special Edition has commentary by Peter Davison and writer Terrance Dicks, plus 33 minutes of soundtrack track music, and a Who's Who.  Horror at Fang Rock includes some audio commentary by Louise Jameson and John Abbot, a look at Terrance Dicks 6-decade career in books and TV, Paddy Russell: A Life in Television, a retrospective interview on the director's 40-year TV career, also Antique Doctor Who Show--a short film from 1993 on Doctor Who collectibles.  Doctor Who and the Silurians (Jon Pertwee) contains DVD extras like, What Lies Beneath--cast and crew explore how the socio-political climate of the late sixties shaped this story, Going Underground--is a 19 minute short on how they made that episode and the underground sequences, Musical Scales--is a retrospective on an era of musical experimentation in Doctor Who.  Also other DVDs contain other such featurettes.  I've seen bonus features on the BBC studio where Dr. Who first started shooting, which was very interesting, and there's one I want to check out about the Dr. Who comic books and memorabilia, and so forth.  That really makes me want to collect more DVDs, just for the bonus features alone, no less the better sound and video quality.

At any rate, if you are into Dr. Who or if you are a novice and would like to explore the Whoniverse and watch a couple of the episodes,  I found a pretty cool link that allows you to stream the classic Dr. Who episodes online.  Here's a link for that:  Life, Doctor Who & Combom.


Sunday, May 06, 2012

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Well, I noticed that the last posting didn't have any breaks in it, like new paragraphs, etc.  Blogger changed up their formats a bit, so I got a learning curve that I'm dealing with for the immediate future.  I'll just have to try and learn a little bit as I go. At any rate, bear with me if things are a bit...weird, unkept looking, and what have you for the present. I'm still fidgeting with it.


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Last night I did watch the PBS show of the new BBC series, Sherlock.  They'd broadcast those episodes earlier last year.  I believe it was just four episodes in all for that short season, and will be four more for the new one, which starts, tonight.  Hoo haw. At any rate I'll be tuning in.  If you enjoy the current incarnation of Doctor Who, the Matt Smith adventures, you'd probably enjoy Sherlock as well as it's presented by (writer & producer) Steven Moffat. Also you might like to go to this link, Moffat. There you will find a short radio interview with Moffat with a picture and a few other factoids.


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I have a few other links on Dr. Who to share. Here's a link to a discussion on the various doctors that preceded Matt Smith, and how one author thought how they fared.  I think I still enjoy Tom Baker, as he's the doctor's incarnation that I first encountered when I first started watching Dr. Who.  I think that might have been when they were showing them on Night Flight, a late night TV program--I forget what network. And then, Dr. Who popped up again on the Sci-Fi Channel when it first started their network, many years ago.  They've since dropped in the quality of programming, to a large and unfortunate degree. Here's a link  that ponders the question: Is Matt Smith the best doctor since Tom Baker? It's an interesting query, but I have a few other doctors that I prefer before Smith, and that would be Harnell, and Troughton.  But to each their own.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Photobucket Saturday was a fairly busy day for me starting out. I woke up early enough, which surprised me as I got in bed rather late last night. I'm more a hoot owl than early bird. Sometimes though I can be both depending on my day. Last night I stayed up watching two SF flicks, and watched an episode of Fringe before that. So I was surprised I got it together so early. Anyway last night, first I watched The Chronicles of Riddick starring Vin Diesel, which was the sequel to Pitch Black (in my opinion the better film, although I enjoyed them both). However, since Pitch Black came out first, I thought AMC should have shown it first, it didn't really matter though, since I'd seen both previously, I'm just saying... I really liked how Pitch Black opened with the crew's ship being hit by meteorites or space debris, which breaches their hull, and caused them to go into emergency mode. They have to crash land on a planet, which is when the mystery begins. But as they are crashing some of their hull gets peeled back, which I thought looked amazing. I'd seen Pitch Black many years ago when it came out at the cinema, so it was neat to watch it again. I'd forgotten quite a bit of the story, and I'd forgotten it starred Claudia Black, which has played in other SF fare like Farscape and Stargate Continuum. Pitch Black is sort of like Alien in that it's sort of is a mash-up of SF and horror, but for me, that just makes it more fun. The Chronicles of Riddick doesn't exactly tie-in closely as a complete follow up, unless I missed something. It does star Vin Diesel as the same character, but doesn't have any back story to the previous film, what he's been doing all the time between the first film and this newer one. It just starts out in full action mode with an intergalatic war between two races of people with Riddick caught in the middle. Actually the sequel isn't written as cohesive or directed as well as it should have been as at times. I would get lost in the story, but it more than makes up for that in the production of the effects, costumes, and so forth. It reminded me of a live action story torn out of the pages of Heavy Metal magazine in some ways. At any rate, I favored Pitch Black just a bit, but enjoyed them both. Anyway Saturday, I got up early and headed out to an estate sale this morning, but didn't come ways with much, not that I needed too. I'm old school so I found a couple of new VHS tapes still in their plastic wrap for a buck a piece, and I'm already using one of them to tape some of the new PBS Sherlock Holmes series onto. The new BBC series is just titled Sherlock, and concerns the British sleuth in modern day Britain. He still has his faithful companion, Watson, but also the modern computers, cell phones, and so froth. If you are a Dr. Who fan, I believe it's directed by the same director, so if you enjoy modern Who, you might enjoy these as well. I also found a used cutting board, which might gross out some people to know that I plan to used a "used" cutting board, but hey, it was super cheap (one dollar), and you CAN clean them up nice, and it sure beats paying $35. for one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond by a mile--plus I'm recycling! And lastly I found an interesting large book, with nice large photos in it, which I'm thinking of cutting up and using some of that for some collage projects, just to dabble with art work again. I've been on Pinterst.com messing around looking at art, and has sort of fanned that flame. Cheerio.